What is SEO? SEO is search engine optimization, a method of improving your site to garner more organic traffic from search engine results. Content and websites designed with SEO in mind are often an important aspect of digital marketing strategies, as more traffic is always appreciated when it comes to digital marketing efforts. Whether you’re selling a product, a service, or a job listing, SEO marketing will be a crucial part of your sales funnel, as you work to get as many eyes on your offerings as possible. Google processes over 40,000 search requests every second, so working to secure higher rankings on search results will be beneficial to your business. Here’s a quick walkthrough of what you need to consider for your company’s SEO marketing.
SERPs and where you place
Most SEO work focuses on ranking well within Google’s search results, since Google makes up almost 93% of global internet searches. On a given SERP (search engine results page), there will be promoted results and organic links. SEO marketing targets these organic links and works to boost your online presence and get more leads into your sales funnel, ultimately benefiting your bottom line. Even if you’re engaging in other forms of digital marketing, SEO marketing is always a worthwhile accompaniment to other investments, as boosting organic traffic to a website is always beneficial, with a digital marketing campaign running or not.
While Google does not reveal the exact algorithm behind page rankings on SERPs, it does give out some information on how it decides which sites should be trusted over others. An important aspect of SEO ranking is the presence of quality backlinks, which essentially function as other sites vouching for your site through the sharing of your material. As an example, you may have a blog post, educational in nature, that is written well and seen by other sites who use it as an outbound link as part of their own content marketing. Now your page has been linked to, and Google knows this through crawling the other website, and so will rank your page higher due to increased “domain authority”. This is essentially a measure of trust that Google judges to show those searching the web the best results possible. It is important to note that Google values the quality of backlinks as well as the quantity, so a hundred backlinks from untrusted sites will have less value than fewer backlinks from highly reputable websites.
SEO marketing and the sales funnel
SEO is often used in conjunction with other forms of marketing to achieve the best possible effect. When a company is working to get more people into their sales funnel, SEO marketing can bring in sales leads that a digital marketing strategy without SEO may otherwise miss out on. While SEO marketing is not as targeted as other forms of marketing, where paid ads can be run in specific locations to target specific demographics, it is still backed by an understanding of your target demographics and buyer personas, like all marketing strategy should be.
For example, if your company offered appointment setting services, then you would want to organically attract people searching for those same services. However, the context of the keywords being searched for is important. A prospect, interested in hiring the services of an appointment setting company, is like to search for terms like: “appointment setting company near me”, or “appointment setting services price”, or “how to find appointment setting companies”, and so on. These sorts of searches imply a form of intent, either “commercial investigation” or “transactional” intent. Basically, the user is in the market or ready-to-buy for what they are searching, instead of someone who may be searching for other intent purposes, like “informational” or “navigational”. Someone searching for their local sports team may be looking for their schedule, instead of their merchandise store, for example, and the keywords used for their search will reflect that.
For someone like yourself who may be looking into a digital marketing firm, you could be searching for target keywords like: “digital marketing services”, “SEO services” and “pr and content marketing services”. Companies in need of these services evaluate pricing, services, or location of digital marketing firms that that can likely help, so SEO marketing must be conducted with this in mind. All of which brings more prospects into the sales funnel.
To better understand how your website is performing, site audits should be conducted after changes to your site or Google’s algorithm are made, and before any SEO marketing strategies are acted upon. Site audits, such as those offered by SEMrush, are examinations of how your website is currently performing in terms of traffic and bounce rates. An audit can guide you through your next steps, as you can prioritize different tasks and ensure things proceed smoothly. It may tell you that your blog posts are not properly optimized or are lacking backlinks. It could inform you of orphan pages within your sitemap that cannot receive traffic. Optimizing your website with a site audit can increase the number of prospects entering your sales funnel.
Internal linking is another essential part of ensuring your website ranks high in SERPs. Internal links allow your website to be crawled and properly indexed, which are both precursors to your website ranking on search engines. For Google’s website crawling bot to function, it follows links on your website to determine the relationship between various pages on your website. If you have “orphaned” content, this means that a page on your website is unable to be accessed through internal links. A page like this will not be indexed by Google, and thus will never rank on its results’ pages, no matter how well optimized it might be otherwise.
Schema markup is an essential aspect of SEO marketing, allowing search engines to crawl your site and understand what specific terms are meant to represent. For example, if you are promoting beauty products on your home page, your back-end HTML elements should be tagged according to Schema’s documentation where they have a comprehensive list of markup types to represent a wide array of products and services. If this sounds a little complicated, it is worth reaching out to accomplished digital marketing consultancies, like Clever Samurai, where our digital marketing experts can optimize your website and grow your organic traffic and guide more prospects through your sales funnel as part of a bespoke marketing strategy.